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Books by Grigory Yavlinsky
Economics and Politics in Russia
The Center for Economic and Political Research (EPIcenter)
Nizhni Novgorod-Moscow, 1992

4.1 Entrepreneurship and Property

4.1.1 Conversion of the Social Infrastructure

Preschool Establishments

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When converting preschool establishments, one should proceed from the fact that young parents are , as a rule, low-paid and relatively socially vulnerable. They occupy low-level, low-qualified jobs and have little practical work experience.

Recently the cost of keeping children in preschool establishments has risen constantly. By the third quarter of this year, it already cost 2,000-2,500 roubles a month. In such conditions, it is extremely difficult for parents to pay the full expenses of sending their children to kindergarten.

Transitional forms should exist. Experience accumulated by Nizhni Novgorod oblast is worthy of note. According to a decision by the regional council, 20% of the cost of keeping children in kindergarten is paid by parents, and 40% by the parents' workplaces. For single parents, the missing portion is compensated by the local budget.

In this case, parents also have to pay in part for their children's fees, which will grow along with prices. It is also possible that in future, as the economy stabilizes, a gradual transition will be made toward parental payment of a greater share of the funds spent on their children's upbringing, if not the whole amount.

Such an approach already helps resolve the problem of removing preschool establishments from the balance sheets of state enterprises. With these aims in mind, one should create independent enterprises from kindergartens and children's centres. These could be limited partnerships, joint stock companies, or private enterprises. The latter could comprise one or several children's institutions, and each could have its own book-keeping. Or one could create a single, centralized accounting department. Most importantly they should be legal entities.

The local authorities, enterprises with kindergartens listed on their financial statements, and other interested parties may become their founders.

The newly created organisations would work with the parents and their workplaces on a contractual basis. The local authorities should establish a minimum set of services for children (food, medicine, and education) and the lowest possible costs, and make sure that these conditions are observed. If the parents would like the services to be expanded (e.g., to include participation in sports or a study of foreign languages), these additional services should be fully paid for by the parents.


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